Welcome back to the Alumni Blog! This week, alumnus Jarred Cooper Jones tells us about his career since graduating. Jarred studied Advertising and Radio Production at the University’s Warrington Campus, graduating in 2016. He has recently secured his dream job, presenting his own radio show on Hits Radio Manchester. Keep reading to find out more…
“I decided to study at the University of Chester for a couple of reasons; firstly I absolutely loved the small, more personal feel of the Warrington Campus – it was perfect for me. It’s so small and intimate, you will literally get to know everyone! Secondly, the fact that I could study two different subjects (Advertising and Radio Production) as one degree meant that I could develop different skills and would have more options when I graduated and started my career.
“I always knew I wanted to be a radio presenter (I was a nerdy child who pretended to make radio shows in his bedroom!), but I got my first taste of being on the radio when I volunteered at my local hospital radio station, Phoenix Hospital Radio. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to carry on doing radio, so I looked into studying it at university level. What made me want to study at Chester was the amazing facilities that are available. The fact that the studios have such a high-tech industry standard set-up is really what makes the Radio Production course so great. The Warrington Campus radio station, The Cat Radio, is amazing too! Your degree work is actually used to create programmes that will be broadcast on the station and makes it feel even more important.
“I presented a show called Snap, Crackle and Banter on The Cat Radio. It wasn’t something that I was required to do as part of my course, but I still choose to do it. The show gave me more presenting experience and more confidence. Presenting the Student Radio Chart Show was another example of making the most of the opportunities available to students. The show won Silver for ‘Best Student Radio Chart Show’ at the Student Radio Awards, which was one of the reasons why I got this job that I’m doing now. Take all the extra opportunities forwarded to you, you can open even more doors for yourself.
“The skills I have gained from studying at university really have helped me out; socially, academically and just with life in general! I currently host my very own weekend show from 1am-6am (ask the taxi man to put it on when you’re coming in from a night out!). The show is an entertainment magazine programme playing the best new music… But if that means nothing to you, basically it’s just me and the audience trying to make each other laugh while I play some banging tunes! The show is broadcast on Hits Radio Manchester, but also 22 other stations across the UK which is… scary, but I love a challenge! It’s so much fun, I absolutely love it. The overnight audience is literally the best and most loyal audience.
“I got the job after emailing in my demo to the station manager, they liked the sound of it and offered me a show… That’s the simple story! But there was a lot more blood, sweat and tears to get to that point. I had an internship at another radio station, I had to work long hours in a bar for well over a year, and I applied to hundreds of different stations with no luck. I gave up on radio so many times and thought I was never going to make it. It was very tough, but I kept trying – applying and cold calling at stations and eventually it paid off! Sometimes you have to just keep trying and ultimately you’ll get there.
“I have no idea what the future holds, but as long as I can carry on presenting, doing what I love and just having a blast then I’m happy…. That being said, watch out Greg James, I’m coming for you! I would also like to thank everyone in the Radio Department, all the radio technicians, guest lecturer Paul Smith and the wonderful Michelle Ponting, she makes the course so great – she really does care about every one of her students, and wants them all to succeed. She is genuinely a lovely person… And I’m not just saying that because she’s now technically my co-worker!”
You can listen to Jarred’s show on Hits Radio Manchester every Saturday and Sunday from 1am-6am.
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